Messmore Elementary School student Lindsay Tomaszewski, 11, stands in front of a Random Acts of Kindness Tree project that  she organized at her school.

Messmore Elementary School student Lindsay Tomaszewski, 11, stands in front of a Random Acts of Kindness Tree project that she organized at her school.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Kindness tree project takes root at Messmore

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 14, 2019

 Paper flower petals contain written notes of good  deeds performed among the Messmore community.

Paper flower petals contain written notes of good deeds performed among the Messmore community.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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STERLING HEIGHTS — At Messmore Elementary School, a tree was recently the symbolic key to helping classmates treat one another with respect.

Sixth grade Messmore Elementary student Lindsay Tomaszewski, who is also the student president, worked alongside Messmore Principal Renee Fiema to put a Random Acts of Kindness Tree on one of the school walls.

Throughout April and May, students who performed, received or witnessed a kind act were encouraged to write it on a construction paper leaf or flower petal and stick it to the wall with the tree. Those who were shown kindness were encouraged to do multiple good deeds for others to keep the campaign going.

By the end, hundreds of leaves and flower petals full of written accounts surrounded the tree.

Tomaszewski, 11, said this is the first time her school has made a Random Acts of Kindness Tree. She said the project brought attention and awareness to people’s good behavior, serving as a model for future behavior.

“My role is to speak for all of the students and just kind of help them and to give them great ideas and just how to make school better,” she said. “An example is if someone dropped their papers in the hallway, another person would just kind of help them pick it up.”

Tomaszewski said she “felt pretty accomplished” after organizing the project, and she is appreciative of all the students who participated and made the Messmore community a nicer place. She estimated that as many as 2,000 acts of kindness were recorded over the campaign.

Fiema said the original idea was to have teachers be the ones to witness and honor acts of kindness. But upon discussing it further, she and Tomaszewski agreed that the program should be more student-centered.

The point of displaying the good deeds on the wall was to “look at how kindness grows,” Fiema said.

“In our building we have something called peace education, where we promote that we’re a peaceful place, a peaceful circle. And we think about how our thoughts and our words and our actions create a community and culture that’s a peaceful place,” Fiema said.

“So the kindness tree kind of ties into the peace education so that when we have words and thoughts and actions that are outwardly and intentionally kind, it grows and it spreads.”

Find out more about Messmore Elementary School by visiting messmore.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-5600.

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